Northern Spy Apples

First year getting apples from this tree. A big apple even in a drought year and almost no watering on a Tall Spindle tree. The flavor is very nice and different to me than most apples. Has anybody cooked a whole pie with this apple? I wanted to keep a few for eating fresh and mixing it with other apples for a pie. Is it a good pie apple on its own?


Great looking apples John! It’s amazing how little damage those have. I know location has something to do with it though it’s also reflective of a well maintained orchard. Most of the apples I raised this year were pretty rough comparatively. What was your secret on your spray program?

The one given out by Allen. Early on spray Immunox, after petal fall mix Triazicide and Immunox together spray again. I will say I’ve had a big outbreak of white fly on my trees so will have to use something stronger next year and the Curculio seem to be harder to kill now that they are here in my orchard, but I still had a good year with many healthy apples.


That is the program I used except much more intensive so next year I’m going to need to step things up a little bit. That’s an excellent haul of great looking apples!

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Whitefly is not something I ever saw in apple trees until we started using pyrethroids, now I’ve seen them at a few sites- same deal with peach scale on plums. This is the problem with insecticides that kill most all insects, including beneficials. I doubt you can treat whitefly effectively with more pyrethroid sprays, but perhaps if you add hort oil to the last spray it will help. I’ve had to use specialized commercial chems to control it.

Oil sprays, when weather allows, on subsequent cover sprays without pyrethroid is something else to try. If you allow the pest to establish there aren’t that many good options.

Whitefly is a tough pest and undoubtedly damages productivity and brix levels, depending on how soon and how much it destroys chlorophyll.

Yes I tried one more dosing of Triazicide and it did nothing.

Those are mostly Liberty apples from three trees with some Macoun apple mixedin.they are a good annual cropper. My really only bad trees were from my poor pruning experience with the tall spindle my free standing trees did pretty well.

Alan is there anything I should do this year for white flies or let it go till next. They seem to be dieing off from the weather.

Great applaea, @Johnthecook!
NS is one of my true favorites from child hood and is an excellent all purpose apple.
Nice in a pie, does just fine by itself. Great cider. And a keeper too.
How old is your tree and what rootstock?

Four years on B9’ in a lousy location. Gave me one apple last year that fell off and got nibbled on. This year 10 apples. Only watered it once.

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No point now that I know of- I believe they are about done. Hard frost is predicted in S. NY in about 5 days or so. You can’t find much info from the literature as I believe this is a relatively new problem for fruit trees. Cornell doesn’t even recommend treating whitefly on kale even though I think they destroy the taste when pressure is high.

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@Johnthecook, nice looking fruit, and good harvest.

How were your Macoun’s? I planted a tree here back in the spring based on so many good reviews about it. What kind of flavor, texture, and is it a good keeper?

I have tried some Liberty (another variety we planted) apples this year for the first time from a local orchard and liked them. Pretty tart, not too sweet, and somewhat firm. I know Liberty is a direct descendant of a Macoun, but are different in some respects.

I know you’re in a totally different locale than me, but just wanted an opinion on them, I haven’t seen many comments about them on this site. Are those Macoun’s in the green basket on the right?

In regard to a NS, what kind of flavor are we talking about? Sweet, tangy, perhaps a mix of both? We planted a NS offspring, a Novaspy as well. I think it’s a NS and Gold Del offspring.


Very few Macoun mixed in that bunch, actually some of the ugliest fruit is from an unnamed apple tree from a neighbor of mine. I have grafted some of her wood onto some of my Libertys because really one Liberty is enough they are such good croppers. Macoun is probably my favorite apple I’m bad at describing, but it has a unique flavor maybe close to Macintosh, but better and keeps better for me.

Liberty has a problem with not ripening at the same time, which can be good for a backyard grower if you don’t want them ripe all at once. They sweeten up if picked when fully ripe. My Northern spy seems pretty well balanced and at the end of tasting it has a nice sweet taste to it. These are some of my Macoun apples and Kentucky is definitely different weather than me.

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I had a Macoun this year from a friend’s tree and it was one of the best apples I’ve ever had. As much as I love Liberty when it’s at its best I think the Macoun is at least as good.

But you know, either way you’re going to be happy. It’s kinda like having to choose between

Oh, never mind. I’ll just say be happy with the one you’re with!


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I agree although Macoun is my favorite I just ate an Enterprise apple and loved it!

Thanks, that’s certainly encouraging to hear the good opinions about Macoun. They are an attractive apple. It makes sense that it tastes a bit like a McIntosh, since it’s a direct offspring. I do like the tartness of a good Mac, they just don’t keep very long, and turn mushy in pies.

I think the lineage is thus:

Mac → Macoun → Liberty, with some other varieties mixed in.

I considered an Enterprise, but heard the skin is a bit thick, so I went with the Lib. About the Macoun, an orchard owner I talked to said that they used to grow them, but got rid of them because of the trees dropping a lot of fruit. Has that happened to you, John (or anyone else reading this)?

They do, but I only have two trees, one a semi dwarf and one a dwarf as a tall spindle. So I pick them before they drop. They also can be biennial so you have to not be too greedy and thin them accordingly.

The Enterprise has grown on me.It does have a thick skin, but I like the taste and its also good for pies and you get a good crop every year.

Last year, I used northern spy for making apple butter, and everyone said the apple butter was great.

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